100 days under Pakatan: Mahathir, the strongman reformist?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad flanked by fellow Pakatan Harapan leaders (from left) Mohamad Sabu, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Mr Lim Kit Siang on May 10. The indications are that while Dr Mahathir has largely retained his standing as a strongman leader, h
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad flanked by fellow Pakatan Harapan leaders (from left) Mohamad Sabu, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Mr Lim Kit Siang on May 10. The indications are that while Dr Mahathir has largely retained his standing as a strongman leader, his reformist stripes might win the day.ST FILE PHOTO

Malaysia's ruling alliance Pakatan Harapan yesterday marked its 100th day in office after the May polls. In the second of a two-part series, The Straits Times looks at the mix of issues and parties as the new political reality sinks in.

Twenty years ago the strong-arm tactics of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad against his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, sparked the reformist movement.

The "Reformasi" protests against Datuk Seri Anwar's imprisonment and calls for transparency and accountability in the country's institutions led to the closest that Dr Mahathir has come to losing government, at the 1999 polls.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir, the strongman reformist?'. Print Edition | Subscribe